Ricochet is the best place on the internet to discuss the issues of the day, either through commenting on posts or writing your own for our active and dynamic community in a fully moderated environment. In addition, the Ricochet Audio Network offers over 50 original podcasts with new episodes released every day.
In the campaign season of 2016, an essay appeared out of the blue titled “The Flight 93 Election” exploring, in considerable depth, the very real dangers for our Nation should Hillary Clinton be elected President. Word of this epochal essay spread like wildfire and it became — not the cliché but the real thing — an overnight sensation. It was introduced to the wider world when Rush Limbaugh read every word of it on his radio show. How much impact it had on the eventual outcome of the election we will never know, but I would speculate that it almost certainly had a measurable effect. Like many in those pivotal days – we had no idea just how pivotal they were at the time — I devoured the article which simply corroborated my conviction that the style of the title was not at all overdone but described the importance of that decision precisely. The author was identified at the time of its release as Publius Decius Mus, the essay may be accessed here. His real identity was Michael Anton.
This very same scholar and highly accomplished analyst has now published another masterful essay in which he reviews the increasingly disturbing, chilling, and, in some cases, frightening developments wrenching our society these days, defined broadly as the last five to six years since approximately — and this is my marker, not the author’s — the most famous escalator ride in history. The theme is the large catalog of savage attacks on, to use Victor Davis Hanson’s phrase, the very pillars of Western Civilization.
I will try to couch my feelings about both the excellence of this piece of scholarship and the severity of its alarms for our future in somewhat muted tones, but, to put it as mildly as I know how to use the King’s English, every single American citizen with a sentient mind should read this essay, at least once but, more beneficially, twice, as I did. It may be accessed here; as noted, the publishers have most graciously granted me permission to provide this link and it is my hope that it will be spread far and wide so many will have the benefit of the depth of analysis it offers of the problems we face. They are so much more serious than the usual jokes and memes about the blithering fools who occupy our highest two offices presently and I hope to briefly review the major areas of Anton’s concerns — issues which are unprecedented in American history and, in some cases, all recorded history.
The author opens his discussion with these pithy observations on the current state of the “Republic” (about which more later) and its seemingly inevitable decline:
When I have thought about this, I have been in some part inclined to the opinion that present arrangements are unstable and may be approaching their end. Yet in thinking it through further, I am forced to admit that our times are marked by so many unprecedented trends and events that making predictions seems foolhardy.
He then turns to a familiar theme:
Are We Rome?
Noting that there seem to be many similarities between the fall of Rome and our present rapidly deteriorating situation, and examining the two examples extensively, he indicates that America, because of the confluence of so many unprecedented developments, is almost certainly headed for at least a slow, steady decline, if not imminent fall. One conclusion which jumped off the page to me was this one, which we seem to hear more and more often of late:
Yet in all important respects, our country is no longer a republic, much less a democracy, but rather a kind of hybrid corporate-administrative oligarchy.
There follows an analysis of the “cycle of regimes” theory which holds that “[j]ust as Rome was born, grew, matured, peaked, declined and eventually fell, so will — and must — America.” Under this theory, every regime — monarchy, autocracy, or democracy — falls when it becomes “overbearing and odious.” This phrase really hit home with me because our present system has clearly become overbearing and to call many of those in national “leadership” positions just “odious” would be to commit an act of kindness.
Unprecedented Immigration Policy Never Seen Before In World History.
We — that is, those of us of a certain level of “maturity” — were raised to regard the “Melting Pot” as one of those bedrock foundational principles which make the USA exceptional and to believe that E Pluribus Unum was not just some slogan on the currency. However, the author reminds us that Aristotle cautioned, in his Politics, that “dissimilation of stock is conducive to factional conflict,” and notes that we pride ourselves on our “exceptional track record of assimilating peoples from all over the world.” After reviewing the changes wrought by the devastating 1965 Immigration Act and the denunciation of the very idea of assimilation by our Ruling Elite as “racist” (is there a single thing left in our society that is not racist?) we have seen another development unprecedented in world history:
Be that as it may, no nation in recorded history has ever willingly opened its doors to millions of immigrants only to insist that they must never adapt to the traditional ways of their new country…
Other examples follow, such as the size of the tidal wave of humanity coming to America now estimated to be in the range of 100,000,000 — one hundred million! — since 1965. As he notes, no native-born population of any country has ever cheered its own dispossession. Ever.
Unsayable: The “Great Replacement” is Happening.
Not only is it happening- it is accelerating under the “Biden” administration. We are seeing another unprecedented move by a nation as described by the author:
No majority stock in any nation has ever deliberately sought its own replacement…
A headline today announced, as if it were believable enough to be taken seriously, that the administration has issued a massive number of show cause orders directing illegal immigrants all over the country to appear in court to prove why they should not be deported back to Mexico/Guatemala/Honduras/Somalia/Uzbekistan. I represent, in good faith, that this was not a headline in the Babylon Bee.
Anton also notes that while examples can be found of a new elite rising and then replacing an older one:
But of a ruling class coming to despise its own (broadly speaking) ethnic group and seeking ways to rob their fellow co-ethnics of power, standing, and influence? I can’t think of any other such cases.
Ugliness Is Everywhere. Decreed From On High?
Anton then turns his analytical acumen to the qualities which make our current class of elites markedly different from tyrants of old, who have always despoiled their countries for personal gain. Today’s “Anointed”, to use Dr. Sowell’s word, are driven by a “malice … atypical to the native despot,” continuing:
To force degeneracy on the whole of society, with the explicit intent of bringing the rest us to our knees, literally and figuratively—that, I think, has never happened before.
The author then views the landscape of ugliness the ruling class has “created,” noting that throughout history autocrats wanted to leave behind “beauty, the arts, and great works.” Now, since about the middle of the last century, everything has turned brutally ugly, including “not just the buildings, but the art, the literature, the music, almost everything.”
What follows at this point was a discussion which must have taken a serious measure of courage to write, and of The New Criterion to publish, as it is a depiction of not one, but two, areas which The Anointed have decreed to be off-limits in so-called “polite company” (an ever-dwindling group in our coarse society). He actually discusses — out loud — the ugliness of the people and the inexplicable choice of George Floyd as something approaching Sainthood.
As to the ugliness of the people, he notes that “[t]he point seems to be humiliation, forcing us little people to say ‘the thing which is not’” and further illustrates the “malice” of today’s ruling elite thusly:
That trick is also as old as the hills, but the deliberate promotion of ugliness seems to be a new way to play it.
Anton’s dissection of the George Floyd phenomenon surely should rank as one of the most honest, forthright, unsparing, and truthful discussions of this madness to be found anywhere and it alone makes the entire essay worth close attention and study.
At this point, I should note that by publishing this passage, in particular, and the essay, in general, The New Criterion has once again exemplified its credo:
“At The New Criterion we will always call things by their real names.”
Before having the sheer temerity to sketch out the many reasons George Floyd was no Saint, he begins this discussion as follows:
But in terms of what we choose to elevate, nothing illustrates the perversity of present America more than the deification of George Floyd.
But has any people ever chosen such an undeserving object of worship?
The Tragic State of Education Today.
If forced to sum up this entire depressing section of the essay (as I am due to the conditions of the gracious permission of the publication to publish the link to the entire article) in a few passages, it would be these:
There’s ample historical precedent for widespread illiteracy. But for teaching one’s own citizens self-hatred, degeneracy, and despondency—without teaching them to read and write?
Besieged by Barbarians.
The next section, entitled “Barbarians at the Gate,” discusses the destruction being wrought upon our society by crime and the sacking of our cities at the instigation of our “overlords” and also by modern technology, which he describes as “anti-human,” designed to “remake [Man’s] very soul.” He further discusses the never-before-seen “passionate hatred” of the “cultural locusts” who will leave no statue standing and no name unchanged.
His very tentative prognosis is that we will be “somewhere between imminent collapse and drawn-out decline” and ends with this vivid, if not disquieting, finale:
Whatever the case, couple all this unprecedentedness with all this incompetence, and going long on Wokemerica seems a sucker bet. But, to end where we began, the very unprecedentedness of our situation means that all bets are off.
I have racked my brain — the few surviving parts of it — to try to find words adequate to the task of urging every American to read this essay thoroughly and imbibe its lessons as completely as possible. My brain only responded: reading this essay should be the duty, not the option, of every citizen who cares about our Beloved Nation and hopes to help, in some way, no matter how small, reverse its long decline. I hope this review will whet your appetite and prompt you to do just that.
God Bless America!
Author’s Note: Publication of the link to the article and brief quoted passages are provided with the permission of The New Criterion.Published in